The coronavirus pandemic has left people all over the world feeling unstable. While life is not “business as usual,” small businesses can find some reassurance in one thing: entrepreneurship has always been about minimizing losses and capitalizing on opportunities. Liberty Bay remains as dedicated as ever to helping business owners adjust and evolve to overcome unexpected challenges. Here are 5 helpful tips for small businesses during the pandemic.
1. Remember your priorities
What were your business goals before COVID-19 surged around March? How have you changed them since then? What long-term goals can you still achieve with a little flexibility in your plan and execution?
While things are by no means “business as usual,” that doesn’t mean you should throw all your plans and priorities out the window. Your approach to achieving those goals may look a little different, that’s all!
Consider some of the services Liberty Bay provides to support small businesses. We are proud to support our business community and continues to offer Business Loans and SBA Loans to help businesses with the flexibility they need to operate.
2. Emphasize safety
Look out for your employees and your customers by prioritizing safety. Ensure measures are in place to comply with federal, state, and local regulations regarding coronavirus, and go above and beyond whenever possible to make your business a safe place to go.
Now more than ever, that includes digital safety. If your team is working remotely, is their information secure? If you’re heavily involved in eCommerce, can your customers shop and pay safely online? There is a tremendous and growing need to make sure that businesses are looking after their team and clients’ physical and digital health.
While you’re at it, take care of yourself! In addition to your physical and digital safety, take a look at our FA$Ttrack course on Financial Wellbeing for Entrepreneurs.
3. Go digital wherever you can
Whether or not you are in the eCommerce space, going digital or contactless in as many places as possible is a great strategy. The added convenience and potential are excellent benefits for your business, your team, and your customers. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Allow your team to work remotely if possible, either full- or part-time
- Enable contactless or online payments
- Utilize online advertising
- Improve mobile experience and eCommerce functionality
- Use chatbots and auto-replies on your website and social media
What other ideas for going digital do you have for your business?
4. Don’t give up on your physical location
While going digital in as many ways as possible can have plenty of benefits, if you have a physical location, this doesn’t mean you have to give up on it entirely. Particularly now, people want a place to get away – as long as they can do it safely. Make your physical location an inviting space that allows people to get out of their homes.
Safety and sanitary practices go hand-in-hand with having a physical location. It’s important to take measures to enforce social distancing and mask-wearing as much as possible. Remember that you may not see the same foot traffic as pre-coronavirus times, but if you can keep your physical location up and running, you may be able to bolster your digital activity as well!
Were you planning on opening a physical location before the pandemic hit but are unsure if you can still swing it now? Liberty Bay is dedicated to supporting businesses with our Penny Mortgage. You could pay just one penny in closing costs for your commercial loan!
5. Support your support team
Emphasizing safety and going digital are a big part of supporting your customer support team, a crucial part of ensuring your successful response to the pandemic and any other challenges you may face. Providing top-tier customer service and local support is becoming increasingly more important as people seek online support from businesses. Remember, technology should be used to help your team – not replace it entirely!
Provide resources to your customer support team to help them address questions about product safety and availability, handle customer issues, and reassure your customers that you know what you’re doing and are there for them during these uncertain times. This will also allow your business to be empathetic, honest, and efficient in providing service, building more trust with customers.
Check out our full FA$Ttrack course on Small Business Essentials to learn more about how you can plan and adapt to keep your business running smoothly during the pandemic and through any other challenges you may face.